Herpes Expert Forum
Is it herpes - if it responds to Valtrex?
About This Forum:

Welcome to the Herpes forum. This forum is for questions and support pertaining to herpes simplex virus infections (HSV-1 and 2) and herpes zoster (shingles) and the virus that causes it, varicella zoster virus. Questions about genital herpes are welcome both here and on the STD Forum.

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Is it herpes - if it responds to Valtrex?

Background:
I've had herpes 2 for thirty years. In past years I would have maybe 2 - 4 episodes a year. In January of this year I started taking Valtrex because I'm concerned that a herpes episode could be a be a contributing factor in triggering a relapse of an autoimmune disease I have: CIDP.  Valtrex has been very effective for my herpes. But over the same time span I've started having more episodes, including a number of back to back episodes. A doctor has suggested that the prednisone I was taking for CIDP could have contributed to the increase in frequency. This seems possible, although I went through one previous 7 month course of prednisone without an increase in herpes episodes.

New issues:
Over the last 6 weeks I've experienced what I thought were two (back to back) herpes episodes, and am now experiencing a possible third. The first two were different: flu-like symptoms, no lesions (although the Valtrex may have prevented them) - but a dull ache seemingly inside my scrotum; ie, not near the surface. In both cases the Valtrex seemed to be very effective: the symptoms subsided quickly, & completely within 36 hours. Now I'm once again experiencing tiredness, headache, possibly some stiffness (although that could be age + CIDP) but no apparent genital area symptoms. Is there a very faint ache in my scrotum? Maybe, but it could be imagined at this point too.

In another post one of you commented:
"Flu-like symptoms.....probably never occurs as the only manifestation of herpes."

QUESTIONS:
What does the fact that these episodes have seemingly responded quickly and completely to Valtrex suggest? Does the absence of lesions suggest that these episodes are not herpes?
Do you know of an observed correlation between taking Valtrex and an increase in herpes episodes?
Should I consider taking Valtrex prophylactically?
Are there concerns with prophylactic Valrtex treatment?

Thank you for applying your intention, knowledge, and intuition.

JO




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55646_tn?1263664409
Weird, I posted a full answer to this the day you posted yours and it isn't here!
The taking of prednisone can often trigger a herpes outbreak.  We encourage people who had herpes to take herpes medicines daily during the course of a prednisone burst to try to reduce the chance of getting an outbreak.  The prednisone takes away some of the immune response required to keep the outbreak under contrrol.  You could be starting to get small outbreaks because of the prednisone and the valtrex is working, yes.  I would start taking it daily while on the other medicine - no side effects, no.

Terri
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